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K.C. Maran and anr. Vs. M. Jayaramaiah and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.R.P. Nos. 3743 and 3756 of 1981
Judge
Reported inAIR1982Mad335; (1982)1MLJ336
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 2(28-A) and 66F(1-D); Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Rules - Rule 294-C
AppellantK.C. Maran and anr.
RespondentM. Jayaramaiah and anr.
Appellant AdvocateAdv. General, ;S.R.L. Narayanan, ;R. Balasubrahmanian, ;C. Selvaraju and ;M. Palani, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateV. Subrahmaniam, Adv.
Cases ReferredMohammed Ashfaq v. S.T.A.T.
Excerpt:
.....direct bus services between dharmapuri and bangalore refused the counter-signature. (11)) uses the words 'covered by such scheme' the proviso uses the words 'specified in the scheme which are also used in sub-sections (1-a) and (1-c). as all these provisions are clearly connected and operate in the same field, it is clear that the words 'covered by such scheme, in subsec. , [1977]1scr563 .the extract itself clearly refers to 'specified' in the scheme. therefore, so long as the route in question is not named expressly or mention-!ed definitely, there is absolutely no scope for holding that even though the scheme' is from point to point it will take within it the intermediary route as well. the parliament in its wisdom has chosen to employ words like covered in the body of the section and..........covered by such scheme: provided that where the period of operation of a permit in relation to any area route or portion thereof specified in a scheme published under s. 68-c expires after such publication, such permit may be renewed for a limited, period, but the permit so renewed shall cease to be effective on the publication of the scheme under sub-sec. (3) of & 68-d. 5. one thing that is very clear is, the disjunctive clauses are found mentioned as ' (1) area (2) route and (3) portion thereof'. therefore each of the clauses will have to be given effect to. to say the mentioning of the route would take within it even portion of the route, because the word used in the body of the section is 'covered', does not seem to be the correct legal approach. covered' in the ordinary sense may.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. Both these revisions raise an important question of law as to the meaning of S. 68F (I-D) together with its proviso of the Motor Vehicles Act The respondent who is common in both these revisions namely Jayaramiah, the second respondent is C.R.P. 35M of 1961 and the first respondent m C-R.P. 3743 of 198L applied for the grant of the counter-signature, of his permit on the inter-State route Bangalore to Dharmapuri viz. Bennargetta, Jigani, Anekal, Poonampalli, Border, Mathigore, Kelamangalam, Royakottah and Palacode in respect of the stage carriage MYA 400. A portion of this route lies, within the territory of Tamil Nadu State. This route is not covered by any reciprocal agreement and the primary permit was unilaterally granted to the Karnataka authority. The State Transport Authority held that as much as 93 kms of the route which is well over two-thirds of the total distance lies in the State of Tamil Nadu and further in view of the fact that there are a large number of direct bus services between Dharmapuri and Bangalore refused the counter-signature. On appeal by the respondent, Jayaramiah two points were raised: (1) whether counter-signature could be made as portions of the route overlap certain scheme for nationalisation between Bangalore and certain points in Tamil Nadu published by the State Transport Undertakings in Tamil Nadu and (2) whether on facts there was any justification or necessity for the grant of the counter-signature? The Tribunal was, of the view that the scheme related to point to point namely Salem to Bangatore (terminus to terminus) and therefore the route in question Bangalore to Dharmapuri could not be affected unless specified in the scheme; there is no specification. On the necessity, it held the occupancy ratio ranged between 68 per cent and 86 per cent. There, was also number of public representations. On these two grounds, it directed the counter-signature. To revise this order, Anna Transport Corporation, one of the objectors has preferred C.R.P. 3536 of 1981, while another objector K.C. Maran has preferred C.R.P. 3743 of 1983. These two revisions since they relate to one and the same subject matter are dealt with under a common order.

2. The learned Advocate General, appearing for the Anna Transport Corporation, confines his,, entire arguments to only the question of law as to the scope and the applicability of the scheme for nationalisation. It is the contention that in so far as the scheme for nationalisation covers the route Salem to Bangalore, the route in question namely Dharmapuri to Bangalore being a part of the route would be covered by the scheme. Therefore, in view of the directions of the Supreme Court in S.L.P. 941 of 1978, the Transport Authorities would have no jurisdiction to grant the counter-signature but merely will have to keep the, application pending. This would be the position even though - the route in question Ls not specifically mentioned. In support of this submission, reliance is placed in Damodar Das v. R. T. A., Rewa, : AIR1977MP46 (FB). Under identical circumstances a Full Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High court took the view that because Section 68-F (ID) uses the language, area or route or portion thereof covered by such scheme' any portion lying between point to point, namely, -Salem to Bangalore in the instant case, would be covered. That being so, there will be hardly any scope for the grant of counter-signature. The learned counsel for the petitioner in C.R.P. 3743 of 1981 adopts the arguments of the learned Advocate General.

3. In opposition to this ' the learned counsel for the respondent submits that there is a great distinction between the language used in S. 68F '(1D) and its proviso, while the main section says 'covered by such scheme'. the proviso would say 'specified in the scheme'. Be, sides in clause 4 of the scheme there is no scope for complete or partial exclusion. If the interpretation placed is considered, the order of the Tribunal is cor rect. notwithstanding the ruling of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

4. I have given my careful consideration to the above arguments. S. 68F (IDI reads as under-

'Save as otherwise provided in subsec. (1-A) or sub-sec. (1-C) no permit shall be granted or renewed during the period intervening between the date of publication, under S. 68-C of any scheme and the date of publication of the approved or notified scheme, in favour of any person for any class of road transport service in relation to any area or route or portion thereof covered by such scheme: Provided that where the period of operation of a permit in relation to any area route or portion thereof specified in a scheme published under S. 68-C expires after such publication, such permit may be renewed for a limited, period, but the permit So renewed shall cease to be effective on the publication of the scheme under sub-sec. (3) of & 68-D.

5. One thing that is very clear is, the disjunctive clauses are found mentioned as ' (1) area (2) route and (3) portion thereof'. Therefore each of the clauses will have to be given effect to. To say the mentioning of the route would take within it even portion of the route, because the word used in the body of the section is 'covered', does not seem to be the correct legal approach. Covered' in the ordinary sense may mean include but the language used in the proviso 'any area, route or Portion thereof specified in. a scheme' is in contract with the 12111tuage used in the main section, Websters dictionary states the meaning of 'specify, as follows-

'name expressly, mention definitely'. Therefore some differentiation will have to be made. It is in this regard, with great respect, I am unable to share the view of the Full Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court when it says as under (at p. 49): 'This inference as to the meaning of a route 'covered' by a scheme is further strengthened by a look at S. 68-D which uses the words 'covered by such scheme' or 'covered by the scheme' at three places in sub-see. (8). The section con templates publication of a scheme in the Official Gazette and a newspaper circulating 'in the area or route which is proposed to be covered by such scheme'. The section further provides that any person providing transport facilities by any means along or near 'the area or route proposed to be covered by the scheme', any recognised association and any local authority or police authority within whose jurisdiction 'any part of the area or route proposed to be covered by the scheme lies' can file objections to the scheme. The words 'covered by such scheme' and 'covered by the scheme, occurring in S. 68D (1) do not obviously have any link with the exclusion or non exclusion of private operators by the scheme. These words here, as in S. 68D refer to the area or route specified in the scheme in respect of which the State Transport Undertaking proposes to pro vide transport services. Reading sub-section (1-D) of S. 68F in the light of Sec 68-C and Sec 68-D it words 'covered by sub sec. (1-D) are used in which those words or used in the same sense in which those or similar words are used Ss. 68-C and 68-D (1). A route would be held to be 'covered' by a scheme within the meaning of sub-sec. (I-D) if it is specified in the scheme which proposes that the State Transport Undertaking will run its services on it irrespective of any provision for exclusion or non-exclusion of private operators. This conclusion is further supported by reading together the enacting part of sub-sec. (I-D), its proviso and sub sees. (1-A) and (I-C) of S. 68-F, These sub-sections of S. 68-F are closely link ed and they provide as to what is to happen during the period between the date of publication of a scheme under S. 68-C and the date of publication of the approved scheme under S. 68-D (3). Sub-sec. (1-D) enacts a prohibition and provides that during this period no permit can be granted or renewed in relation to 'an area or route or portion thereof covered' by the scheme. The ban in the matter of renewal is lifted by the proviso in a case where the period of operation of a permit 'in relation to any area or route or portion thereof specified in the scheme expires after the publication of the scheme under S. 68C. Similarly sub-secs. (1 -A) and (1-C) lift the ban as regards temporary permits and makes provision for grant of temporary permits to the State Transport Undertaking and failing that to any other person 'in respect of the area or route or portion thereof specified in the scheme. It will be seen that though the enacting part of sub-sec. (11)) uses the words 'covered by such scheme' the proviso uses the words 'specified in the scheme which are also used in sub-sections (1-A) and (1-C). As all these provisions are clearly connected and operate in the same field, it is clear that the words 'covered by such scheme, in subsec. (1D) mean the same thing as 'specified in the scheme used in the proviso and sub-secs. (1-A) and (1-C).'

6. In coming to this conclusion the Full Bench chose to rely upon a ruling of Bhagwati J. in Mohammed Ashfaq v. S.T.A.T., U.P., : [1977]1SCR563 . The extract itself clearly refers to 'specified' in the scheme. As already, noted according to Webster's Dictionary the meaning of the word 'specify', is 'name expressly, mention definitely. Therefore, so long as the route in question is not named expressly or mention-! ed definitely, there is absolutely no scope for holding that even though the scheme' is from point to point it will take within it the intermediary route as well.

7. There is yet another way of looking at the matter. S. 2 (28-A) defines 'route' as follows-

route means a line of travel which specifies the highway which may be traversed by a motor vehicle between one terminus and another.'

If therefore the route is between one terminus and another, so long as the two termini are not mentioned specifically in the scheme, the intermediary routes will stand totally unaffected. Besides one must have a look at the scheme promulgated under Rule 294-C of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Rules. In the instant case, clauses 4 and,6 5 are to the following effect-

'The stage carriages on the entire route Salem to Bangalore (terminus to terminus) and on the entire sector betwel2n Salem and Gummalapuram (terminus to terminus in the above route should be run and operated exclusively by !be State Transport Undertakings of this State to the complete exclusion of all other persons in respect of permits covering the entire route and the entire sector.'

8. Therefore, how is it possible for any one to conclude whether the exclusion is complete or partial, if the interpretation placed by the learned Advocate General is accepted? What I mean by this, is, if by mentioning Salem to Bangalore, terminus to terminus, all the other intermediate operators stand excluded altogether or, in an absolute fashion, there is no possibility of complete exclusion or partial exclusion- because they have already been excluded Then where is the question of partial exclusion. When the Full Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court goes to the extent of saying even area will stand excluded, I am afraid it would amount to reading too much into the section which is not warranted. The Parliament in its wisdom has chosen to employ words like covered in the body of the section and specified in the proviso. More than this, if the interpretation placed by the learned Advocate General is accepted, the disjunctive clauses are rendered nugatory. Besides any portion thereof occurring both in the body of the section and in the proviso will be rendered otiose. Therefore, I should hold unless and until the route is expressly named or definitely mentioned, there is no scope for holding that even point-to-point scheme would exclude the intermediate operators. Once I come to the conclusion that the scheme does not apply, there is no scope for applying the [ruling of the Supreme Court rendered in S.LP. 941 of 1978. Therefore, I uphold the grant of counter-signature. The civil revision petition will stand dismissed. But there will be no order as to costs.

9. Petition dismissed.


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